Evacuations halted as Ukraine accuses Russia of continued shelling

A cease-fire was planned in the strategic port city of Mariupol and in Volnovakha Saturday morning to allow for humanitarian evacuations. But the life-saving effort stalled amid reports that Russian shelling continues.

“The Russian side is not holding to the cease-fire and has continued firing on Mariupol itself and on its surrounding area,” said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office. “Talks with the Russian Federation are ongoing regarding setting up a cease-fire and ensuring a safe humanitarian corridor.”

Meanwhile, the Russian media outlet RIA Novosti carried a claim from Russia’s defense ministry that the firing came from inside both communities against Russian positions.

Heavy fighting has raged for days in Mariupol. At a hospital, one father was seen sobbing over the body of his 16-year-old son — deaths that could have been prevented, Ukraine insists, if NATO enforced a no-fly zone over Ukraine. It decided against that on Friday, not it risk a direct altercation with Russia, CBS News’ Chris Livesay reports.

Ukrainian President Zelensky said blood was on their hands. “From this day, all the people who will die because of you,” he said.

Russia claims they’re not hitting civilians, releasing videos of missiles launching at precision targets. But on the ground the evidence tells a different story.

Now, front-line fighting is closing in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. And Russian tactics are becoming more and more diabolical. NATO’s secretary general accused them of using banned weapons.

“We have seen the use of cluster bombs, which will be in violation of international law,” said Jens Stoltenberg.

Even nuclear power plants are in the crosshairs. US officials said the world narrowly avoided a catastrophe during Russia’s siege of Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, one that Ukraine said could have been 10 times worse than the Chernobyl disaster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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